There is a lot of cards in the format that really hate on creature decks and that can be a pain to play against if your only wincon is creatures. But nothing is probably as annoying to play against, as a deck that fog EVERY SINGLE TURN. And that is of course, exactly what this decks wants to do.Read More
Lich is probably one of the coolest cards from Alpha that didn’t get reprinted after Unlimited. When you look at the card you can almost see how evil the card is, with the foul Lich in the art and a four black mana casting cost. So it’s not strange that a lot of people wants to play with the card. Read here about what you can do with it.Read More
The Lands deck can be built in many different ways but something that should always be present is some number of Fastbonds. It should also have something that draws cards so you really can use Fastbond, like draw sevens or Howling Mine. Other than that it can be either a control deck or a combo deck.Read More
Arboria is a little used Legends card with a very special ability. If you read it you immediately understand that it is a really powerful card, but also that it's hard to use in a practical way. If you want Arboria to protect you from harm you can't even play lands and develop your mana so how can you win with it in play? Actually, Arboria has two "loopholes" you can use.Read More
At first this was not its own archetype, but instead bunched together with Lestree Zoo as just zoo. But we decided to split zoo into two different archetypes as they play out quite differently. The white zoo deck is a little more controlling than the more classic Lestree Zoo which focuses all its energy on killing your opponent as fast as possible. The deck is focused in white and green but often splash blue for power, Serendib Efreet and Psionic Blast. It can also play red but then it’s more often built like a Lestree Zoo.
The thing that makes it a zoo deck is that this deck also is built around a bunch of aggressive mana efficient creatures. White gives this deck access to Savannah Lions which means that you can play eight two power 1-drops together with Kird Ape or that you at least have a powerful 1-drop if you want to cut red completely. Other creatures you can use in the more aggressive builds are Argothian Pixies, Elvish Archer and Serendib Efreet but it’s also possible to add some more expensive creatures like Erhnam Djinn and even one or two Serra angel.
The thing that sets this deck apart from Lestree Zoo and Arabian Aggro is the use of white’s efficient removal in the form of Disenchant and Swords to Plowshares. These cards allow the deck to answer most of what the opponent does at the same time as you’re are hitting him or her with your creatures. But as these cards often take the space otherwise occupied by burn and because of the life Swords to Plowshares gives your opponent the deck become a lot less aggressive even if its still considered an aggro deck.
This deck is all about mana screwing you opponent completely without even playing a land destruction spell. Instead the game plan revolves around resolving a Living Plane to make all lands creatures. With Living Plane on the table you then start to pick off your opponent’s lands, which are now 1/1 creatures, by pinging them to death with a bunch of different cards. One of the most used ways to kill the lands is Tim, or as he’s actually called Prodigal Sorcerer. Other good cards are Fireball, Pyrotechnics, Rod of Ruin and if you want to be extra evil, Earthquake.
If you go for Earthquake you should build you deck to be able to operate without lands, that means mana dorks, Fellwar Stone and more. However, remember that the opponent also could use cards like that so it’s good to also pack some artifact destruction spells in your deck. Crumble is probably the top choice here as it’s in the main color and because the life doesn’t matter much if the opponent won’t play another spell for the rest of the game.
If you are a little slow to lock down the opponent it’s good to have some removal in the deck. If you play a red version, you can use the same cards that later will kill lands as removal in the early game. You should also think about how you will protect your Living Plane as most cards in your deck will need it to stay around. Either you play blue for counterspells or you could use green’s own counterspell, Avoid Fate.
Some other interesting cards are Drop of Honey and Sandstorm. Both are quite good at handling your opponent’s lands even if Sandstorm is more of a corner case card. And if you can afford it, The Tabernacle of Pendrell Vale is a fun addition. Last but not least Pendelhaven could also be a really good inclusion as it makes your lands bigger than your opponent’s and Instill Energy can make Tim ping twice.
And one more thing, remember that with Living Plane on the battlefield, lands have summoning sickness. So if the opponent doesn't have white mana for his Disenchant he can't just play a Plains and kill your Living Plane. You will have a turn to take care of the pesky land.
When Fork was unrestricted in 2016 people started brewing on many different Fork decks. The most successful use of Fork seemed to be in big red decks like CandleFlare. But the deck that got Fork restricted in the first place in 1995 was this Fork Recursion Combo by Mark Chalice.Read More
Erhnam Burn'em is a red and green aggro deck that get's its name from the biggest creature in the deck, Erhnam Djinn, and the red part that mostly consists of burn spells. As with many of the decks on this site Erhnam Burn'em can be built in many ways, even without Ernham Djinn if one wants a lower curve.
This deck is also quite popular as it can be very budget friendly; Taiga is one of the cheapest dual lands, the burn is also cheap and except for Erhnam Djinn the creatures is also quite cheap.
And talking about creatures, this deck usually plays cards like Kird Ape, Argothian Pixies, Elvish Archers and of course Erhnam Djinn. To complement the creatures, you find the classic burn suite with Lightning Bolt, Chain Lightning and Fireball. If you want you can also throw in a couple of Berserks and maybe Giant Growths.
This deck has a simple plan, play a small creature or two, preferably with flying, and then use pump spells to end the opponent in just a few attack steps. The creatures of choice is first of all Scryb Sprite and Flying Men but as eight creatures isn't enough the deck often play Argothian Pixies and sometimes Serendib Efreet.
To make these small creatures able kill as fast as possible the deck uses cards like Pendelhaven, Giant Growth, Unstable Mutation and most importantly Berserk. The deck needs a lot of mana to be able to play all the pump in a single turn and sometimes also have mana for some protection so it's essential to play mana dorks like Birds of Paradise and Llanowar Elves. And one should not forget that even the 0-powered bird can act as an attacker because of all the pump spells.
Other cards that can be used are Psionic Blast for some reach, Avoid Fate for protection and Concordant Crossroads for more speed and as an answer to The Abyss.
And last but not least a fun little fact is that this is the deck that Magic's lead designer Mark Rosewater played at the very first World Championship in 1994.
The Zoo deck is one of the most classic decks in magic history and zoo decks are still being played today even in more modern formats. The most famous version of the old school zoo deck is Lestree Zoo which is named after Bertrand Lestree who piloted his zoo deck to the finals in the world’s first ever Magic World Championship in 1994.
There are many variants of zoo and here we are going to focus on the versions that focus in the colors red, green and blue. There is however also a white zoo deck on the site if you want to read about that.
The main plan for this deck is to play a bunch of mana efficient creatures and then use burn to annihilate your enemy as quickly as possible. The creature base is often made up by Kird Apes, Serendib Efreets and Erhnam Djinns and if you only play those the deck is sometimes called Arabian Aggro. Other usual suspects are Argothian Pixies, Whirling Dervish and Elvish Archers. It’s also not uncommon for this deck to play some sort of mana producing creature like Birds of Paradise.
Other cards that often see play are of course burn spells like Lightning Bolt, Chain Lightning and Psionic Blast but you can also choose to play Giant Growth and Berserk. Another card that see quite a bit of play is Ice Storm which can help you keep your opponent of balance long enough for your creatures to finish him or her off. It also helps you with troublesome lands like Mishra’s Factory and Maze of Ith.
MirrorBall is an unusual deck that actually wants the player to take damage, but in controlled forms of course. Why? you may ask. The answer is quite simple, you want to use your life as a resource to put yourself ahead of the opponent and then use Mirror Universe to change life total with him or her. The main card the deck uses for this purpose is Sylvan Library but there are other good cards as well.
Channel lets you convert your life into mana and Force of Nature is a formidable finisher, especially when you can skip paying the upkeep cost. Last but not least, if you don't include a Force of Nature don't forget to put in another wincon that you can use after you change life total.
This is the Show and Tell deck of it's time and the game plan is simple; get to four mana as fast as possible, play Eureka and put a bunch of big creatures into play. For that extra surprise factor you can also play a couple of Concordant Crossroads so you can drop one with Eureka and attack right away.
This can even be a part of your main plan as Concordant Crossroads let you play creatures like Nicol Bolas who would otherwise be hard to keep around for one turn because of his upkeep cost.
The deck usually also have a plan B and that is to use mana dorks to actually hard cast the creatures. Another plan B that can be used is to play cards like Bazaar of Bagdad and Animate Dead as another way to put fatties into play to early. Last but not least you can also use Mana Flare as another way to cast your fatties.
The Enchantress archetype can be built in many ways but the foundation of Verduran Enchantress, Wild Growth, Fastbond and Sylvan Library usually stays the same. Verduran Enchantress is of course the engine of the deck as it lets you draw a whole bunch of cards if it stays in play. The cards you draw helps you build up a lot of mana which is later used to win the game in some way.
One classic wincon is to just Fireball your opponent to death but as 21 mana could be hard to reach the deck often use the combo Mirror Universe and Sylvan Library. Pay a bunch of life to draw a couple of cards and then change your life totals so the opponent becomes easier to finish of.
This deck is a fragile but powerful combo deck that spends its early turns developing its board with Mana Vaults, Sylvan Library and Howling Mine. The plan after that involves getting a Time Vault on the table and as that card is restricted the deck usually plays a couple of Transmute Artifact. When the Time Vault is in play the deck starts to go off by untapping the Time Vault using Twiddle.
Each Twiddle becomes a one mana Time Walk and thanks to Howling Mines and Sylvan Library you usually end up drawing another Twiddle, Regrowth, Recall or actual Time Walk to continue taking turns. While taking all of the turns you also slowly build up your mana to be able to cast a big enough Fireball to end your opponent.
To make the kill a little easier the deck often utilizes Mirror Universe and Sylvan Library to give the opponent a lower life total to Fireball away.
Leprechaun Ward may be the strangest deck in 93/94, but it's probably also one of the most fun decks. Especially if you like playing cards that no one else are playing. So let's dive into what the deck is all about; the foundation of the deck is to play a lot of green and white cards that synergizes in different strange ways. One of the more important cards is Circle of Protection: Green, and yes you heard right, green(!). The plan is to cast the COP: Green and then protect yourself from the opponent by making all his stuff green with the cards Lifelace and Aisling Leprechaun.
You can also use the card Green Ward to give the Leprechaun protection from green so that it will never die in combat and just continue to make all of you opponents creatures green. This should make you able to repel the opponent’s creatures quite well but of course you also need to win. One way is to use Force of Nature, as it only has a upkeep cost of 1 if you have a COP: Green on the table. And who knows, maybe you Leprechaun have turned all of your opponent's creatures green, then you can just put a Green Ward on your Force of Nature to make it "unblockable". How does that sound?
The one archetype that WOTC hates more than anything else is without a doubt land destruction. That means that they sadly nowadays never ever print good land destruction cards.
Fortunately for us, things were quite different in the 90's and WOTC printed a bunch of nice land destruction cards in 1993 and 1994. Those cards are exactly what the Ponza deck is all about! Ponza is usually a black, red and green deck that include playsets of Sinkhole, Stone Rain and Ice Storm.
The deck's plan is simple, stop your opponent from playing magic by destroying his or her lands. The rest of the deck and the wincons differ but Dark Rituals and evil black creatures is a common way to go. Another card that could be considered is Crumble as it lets the deck destroy moxes as well.
Ever heard of the Modern deck Lantern Control? This is the old school equivalent. The deck's signature card is Field of Dreams, a card which makes both players play with the top card of their library revealed.
With Field of Dreams in play the fun start as the deck then can use Millstone to control what the opponent will draw by milling him or her when there is a dangerous card on top. It can also be used to keep the opponent from ever drawing mana sources, which is even more fun (at least for the player who plays this deck).
Two other cards that the deck usually uses as card drawing engines are Sylvan Library and Sindbad. With Field of Dreams in play you will always know if Sindbad will work and Sylvan Library works well with Millstone as it lets you choose the best card out of three each turn. Also, Sylvan Library and Sindbad combos great with each other as you are able to put a land on top with the library and then draw it with Sindbad.
The deck's name comes from that the only way to win a timed round is to get the opponent to concede.
If someone tells you they are playing Machine Head it could actually mean a couple of things as the deck archetype isn't set in stone, but one thing is certain and that is that it involves Juzam Djinns.
As there is no clear definition of Machine Head it is a little bit hard to write about but it usually involves big creatures like Erhnam Djinn and Juzam Djinn combined with Birds of Paradise to ramp into them. Other cards you usually see in this archetype are Dark Ritual and Elves of Deep Shadow for even more ramp.
It's also not unusual to splash a third color or maybe even two. First of all, you can splash red for Lightning Bolts and Sedge Trolls, or you can splash white to top the curve with Serra Angels and have access to white's amazing removal. Of course you can also splash blue for power, but that's about it.
Last but not least, on card you can play if you really want to hit the opponent hard is Berserk, some decks even play a complete playset.
Are you all about playing big monsters? Then this is the deck for you. The green ramp deck is one of those archetypes that has been around for as long as Magic has existed, and the deck still exists today. The plan is the same as with all ramp decks, develop your mana faster than the opponent and then cast expensive threats that are more powerful than your opponent’s cards.
In the early days of Magic it the deck used Llanowar Elves, Gaea's Touch, Birds of Paradise and Wild Growth for mana ramp and the threats consisted of classics like Force of Nature, Craw Wurm, Erhnam Djinn, Killer Bees, Ifh-Biff Efreet, and Triskelion. The card engine of choice for the deck is often Sylvan Library but some builds use the Relic Barrier and Howling Mine combo for card advantage.
As with all ramp decks the biggest problem with the deck is that you need to draw a good combination of threats and ramp, but if you do you can win against any deck.
Erhnamgeddon has been around since back in the days and the game plan goes something like this: start by developing your mana base with Fellwar Stones, Moxen and Birds of Paradise, play a big creature like Erhnam Djinn or Serra Angel and then blow up the world! Or more correctly blow up all the lands with an Armageddon so the opponent will have a hard time answering your threat.
Meanwhile the Moxen, Fellwar Stones and Birds of Paradise keeps you able to continue playing the game even after the Armageddon. You can also add blue for power and some control elements, then the deck sometimes is called Bantamgeddon.